The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood.
There are a very few books which make a deep deep impact or make a kind of bond with the reader that its very hard to break, this is one of those few excellent books that I have had the pleasure of reading in the recent past. I had no idea of neither the writer nor the story hence was quite a surprise and shocking read too. Also, another thing that I would like to mention about the book, story and subject that it touches is that it cannot be reviewed because even I mention one point about the whole thing it will work like a spoiler for the reader. Although they have unfortunately almost made it predictable for me too by giving that important line from “Genesis” right at the start. So, if you plan to read this one – just pick up the book, Do not and I mean it DO NOT read the cover, back cover or anything at all from the first few pages and straight dive for the main story from chapter one and let me tell you – the journey will be such that you will never forget in your life. Just the way I am not going to forget this book or the story ever, it is written in such a convincing way that I actually felt sad, happy, elated and a hundred other emotions for the protagonist as if it was actually happening somewhere in the world in reality and I was a witness to it all. A totally different kind of Apocalypse If I may call it that.
Before I read this book – two terms “Utopia” and “Dystopia” will always play around on the back of my mind – never knew what they meant in reality. Now I can write my own theory on both the terms – this one has made it very clear for me. Someone’s Utopia can very well be someone else’s Dystopia and there can be nothing like a perfect world ever. Every chapter, every page in this book is a sort of revelation and it keeps growing on you. Initially I felt as if I was having my favorite drink, one sip at a time but as it progresses and the past, present and may be the future which one will be hopeful of is revealed – it just blows your mind off. I wanted to go fast as fast as I could to open up more secrets or to know more about what is happening, the Why’s and where it is leading – it keeps getting darker, gloomier but still I was hopeful of a better future or shall I say a better ending may be. Also, this became one of those very few books (using that term twice) that actually made me forget if I was breathing or not, it indeed made me stop breathing and keep reading, hard to explain what I went through reading this but no doubt the story has its own highs (mostly lows) like the little victories that the protagonist goes through i.e. stealing butter, using it like a facial. Its a damn good lesson to us people who may not value what we have in search of what we look forward to and those little things that we do not value right now they may be so much more valuable to others or to ourselves in future – who knows.
It’s a must read for all, a definite 5/5 from me, a book not to be missed by anyone and I will be looking forward to some of her other works too. Quite a few of her books got Booker’s and other Nominations and victories too.